I started log building by taking a 6 week course at the B. Allan Mackie School of Log Building in 1982. After finishing I immediately started my own house. In the years since then I've contacted and built numerous log houses and have worked in 11 different yards for other builders in British Columbia. I have general contracted from the initial plans, renovated and repaired older log houses and when times were slow, have done general renovations and remodeling and standard framing.
I've seen a lot in this industry, used hemlock, douglas fir, sub-alpine fir, couple of types of spruce, lodge pole and white pine, western larch and western red cedar. I've built in remote fly in only locations and right off the highway. Some places the wood was so wet that it soaked my pants while cutting, other wood has tested at 7% moisture. I have cut round notches, dovetails, saddles and more, angles from 45 to 130 degrees, beautiful mortise and tenon timber frames and roofs and cut and spike it stuff. Shallow laterals, finished with exquisite care and two cut deep V's that were little more than skimmed over to finish.
I have gone back to look at almost every that I have contracted and this is what I've learned. If you build with logs that haven't dried, they will not fit in two or three years. As another builder said when someone asked him if he had ever built a "chinker" before. His reply was "Not on purpose" The trees we use in our homes will grow for at least 100 years before they are cut. If the house is properly built, on a good foundation and has a good roof it should last longer than that. I think it is unjustifiable that our industry continues to take short cuts, and gives our customers anything less than the best.
There is no excuse for a handcrafted full scribe building to not fit. Sure wood does move and invariably a small amount of caulking or chinking will be required. But small is the important word. Customers want their houses right away, and too many builders are more than happy to supply a product that will look great until the cheque clears.
At Khita there is one way to build and that is to do it right. Cut the logs green, peel
them, deck them to dry and wait.. My time is too important to waste it on doing anything less than the best of which I am capable.